AVLAB 1.0 · Advanced Project Development Workshop (Closed)

AVLAB 1.0.1

Registration Deadline: July 1, 2008

Director: Javier Duero

Teachers: Francisco López and Hans-Christoph Steiner

Coordinator: Daniel González Xavier

Venue: Medialab-Prado, Madrid (Spain)

With the collaboration of EXPERIMENTACLUB 08

and the The Center for the Promotion of Contemporary Music (Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporánea)

La aproximación de los profesores

Francisco López

My approach to work with extracts of reality (images, sounds, information) is fundamentally phenomenological. This implies special attention and dedication to the material gathered in relation to its intrinsic perceivable qualities, aside from the metaphoric, referential or symbolic connotations obviously associated with it. This perspective does not aim simply to observe and treat those materials as ends in themselves but to see them instead as elements of personal transformation and reflection for the artist and any potential receiver of what is developed based on that material.

I am particularly interested in the intensity, wealth, and diversity of the interpretive possibilities of creations, which can have quite diverse manifestations depending on the media and contacts used. Expressed very directly, I personally always work with the goal and hope that the final (or transitional) result have a very strong emotional impact (more than a rational one) on the creator and the receiver, independently of the degrees of interactivity and technological complexity of the work generated.

Although my personal work is based on sound, I have experience in many other areas and I am naturally open to the objectives and desires, both conceptual and aesthetic, of each project. My contribution will aim to orient and add experience and criteria, as well as elements for discussion and comparison, especially from a philosophical and historical perspective on the interaction of technology and creation, with an aim not of pure reflection but rather the application of its consequences in the development of a specific project that should result in a practical materialization at the end of the workshop.


Hans-Christoph Steiner

The computer enables the creation of any sound imaginable, recent developments in software is making this ability more and more accessible to anyone who has the interest. While music has long been the force driving the development of new sound technology, these developments have uncorked a new realm of exploration of sound. How does sound affect architecture? Can music be a tool? Can we build abstract languages of tones? Can we compose a space using audio and video? Once you are working with a computer, sound, video, motion, etc. are all just numbers. That makes it quite easy to mix up the media. By paying attention to human cognition and perception, multiple media can be fused into a more powerful experience.

For most musicians and artist, playing is one of the most important methods of learning skills. Just picking up an instrument or sound equipment and playing around with it to see what it does provides a means to exploring the possibilities. By the same measure, doodling develops the artist's expressive intuition. When developing software, I believe computer tools should also enable this sense of play. When developing tools, I try to focus on enabling the spirit of play as the essential spirit of the interaction with the tool.

Ideally, the learning and production environment should also heed these ideas. What I think works best are impromptu lecture topics driven by the work at hand on top of the open and free exchange of ideas. It is important to avoid the burden of "ownership" of ideas, and instead focus on the creation of the best work possible.

Submission Call Guidelines

This is a call to select no more than 10 projects to be produced collectively at an intensive workshop, to be held from September 17 to October 1, 2008.


Widespread digital technologies have established the conditions for a set of transformations in languages related to sound and visual culture. New technological practices related to artistic creation take place in a reality characterized by the dissolution of traditional disciplines and the appearance of work processes both online and off-line that are transversal and collaborative in nature. These chance formations also characterize the ways that projects are produced, publicized and distributed, bringing into question the concepts such as “work”, “property” and “author”.

In this context of deep cultural changes is important to establish a connection between image, the prevailing traditional concepts, and sound. Since sound has been generated electronically, its influence has meant that experimental music and sound creation have taken on a new prominence as specific modes of creation. Their relationship with other visual languages such as cinema, television, video games, etc., has enabled the appearance of narrative and aesthetic subgenres which have enriched these new forms of expression.

The AVLAB 1.0 call for projects focuses on work within the framework of sound as protagonist, in addition to the broad field of scientific, anthropological and socio-cultural research related to the sound phenomenon.

AVLAB is one of the ongoing programmes at Medialab-Prado (Madrid), aimed at the production, research, and dissemination of projects related to sound and visual creation. Conceived as a horizontal collaborative structure, AVLAB works in a network of other platforms and centres related to artistic research.

Objectives of this Call for Projects

· To develop projects related to sound and all practices related with the intersection of sound and picture.

· To create a collaborative learning and production environment focused on developing audio/video projects.

· To enhance knowledge of new forms of sound expression, alternative systems of composition, new forms of interpretation-execution, and transmission systems.

· To focus attention on the work process, facilitating access to methodologies, documentation and the code of projects produced to enable the interchange of knowledge.

· To foster work based on the research, historiography and anthropology of sound and audiovisual media.

· To support projects focused on social interaction and a relationship with the surrounding environment.

· To promote and facilitate the use of free software tools for musical, sound and visual creation.

For Whom

Sound artists, composers, producers, software and hardware programmers and developers, historians, anthropologists and any other person interested in the objectives of this call for projects.

Characteristics of the Projects

Projects presented individually or by groups related with the following fields:

Sound art, live cinema, computer music, circuit bending, audio/video processing in real time, design of hardware-software applications specifically for audio/video, documentation and historical projects, and anthropological and sociological studies.

Characteristics of the Seminar-Workshop

The workshop aims to provide a platform for research, production and collective learning which offers maximum support to the development of the projects selected. The proposals will be developed in multidisciplinary work groups comprising their author(s) and interested collaborators, with conceptual and technical advice from the teachers.

Upon the announcement of the final selection of the projects submitted to this call, in the next stage, a new call will be announced for those people who want to participate as collaborators in the production process of the works.

During the workshop, various activities will be scheduled such as talks, presentations, seminars or specific mini-workshops.

Team work, collaborative methodology, generating discourse through the creative process and developing critical thought will be emphasized.

Work days will be adapted to the specific needs of the projects in conciliation with the activities organized for the seminar and Medialab-Prado norms for all matters related to the hours the centre is open.

The workshop will be held partly in English and partly in Spanish, without translation.

Number of Projects

No more than 10 individual or group projects will be selected.

Participation Rules

Proposals may be submitted individually or by groups. Each participant or team may submit a maximum of two projects.

The projects should be at a stage in their research/development that is advanced enough to reach the proposed result during the two week workshop.

Those projects that are selected must be open to the participation of other interested collaborators who can contribute to the development of the pieces during the workshop.

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is July 1, 2008 at midnight, Madrid time (GMT+1).

Assessment Criteria

  • Projects' suitability to the objectives of this call for projects.

  • Originality, educational value and social scope of the proposals.

  • Ability to create synergies and stimulated working in a network in other settings and projects.

  • Use of open code audio-video editing and post-production software tools.

  • Stage of development of research.

  • Clarity in the exposition of the project.

  • Technical and logistical feasibility.

Selection Process

Projects will be chosen by consensus by a committee composed of the director and teachers at the seminar-workshop and persons in charge of Medialab-Prado.

The list of selected projects will be announced on July 15, 2008 on the Medialab-Prado website and all applicants will also be informed of the announcement by email.

Presenting Workshop Results

The finished works will be presented to the public by their creators on the final day of the seminar-workshop.

An exhibit of those projects will remain at Medialab-Prado for a month (October 2008).

Those projects will be published on the Medialab-Prado website.


· Medialab-Prado collaborates with the EXPERIMENTACLUB 08 Festival, from October 2 through 5, 2008. EXPERIMENTACLUB 08 will exhibit from one to three sound and audiovisual art projects chosen based on this call for projects. The final number of projects selected will depend on their characteristics and size, given that they must fit into the space where they will be shown: Space D at La Casa Encendida.

· The Center for the Promotion of Contemporary Music (Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporánea) will collaborate with AVLAB 1.0 offering the option to use its facilities to support the development of some of the selected projects. This option will depend on the availability and according to the conditions stablished by the center.

· Radio 3 RNE will carry out a special programme during the workshop broadcast live from Medialab-Prado.

Promoting the projects

Medialab-Prado will offer support in promoting a wider knowledge of the projects carried out at AVLAB 1.0, enhancing their visibility and facilitating connections with resource and production support centres, festivals and other institutions where the projects may be exhibited or where their development can continue.

Winners’ obligations

The winning individuals or groups agree to attend the encounter from September 17 to October 1, 2008. They also agree to finish their proposed projects, as far as possible.

Projects carried out will be the property of their author(s), although whenever said projects are shown at festivals or exhibits, and whenever images of said projects are reproduced in catalogues or websites, their relation with the AVLAB 1.0 Workshop carried out at Medialab- Prado should be mentioned. The names of the people who collaborated in developing the projects should also be shown.

Technical Requirements

The jury will carefully examine the technical viability of the projects. For this reason, a clear specification of the technical and spatial requirements of the projects will be positively received.

The projects will be developed and exhibited on the Medialab-Prado premises. Medialab-Prad will only provide the equipment and means of production for the selected projects if previously requested by the project author(s).

Medialab-Prado promotes the use of free software tools. Therefore, Medialab-Prado encourages participants to work with shared and open code applications and enviroments.

The access and use of Medialab-Prado's technical material will be supervised by a coordinator from the center. Any expense not previously planned or approved in material or equipment rental will be paid by the project authors.


Projects will be developed and displayed at Medialab-Prado.

The work/exhibition space has a surface of approximately 120 m2 and will be shared by all the selected projects. Each project will have a designated space depending on its technical and spatial characteristics. Only the projects which can adapt to the characteristics of this shared workspace will be selected.

In case of any doubt regarding the spacial requirements of a project, the jury will contact the project's author.

Lodging and travel

Pending application and for participants residing outside Madrid, Medialab-Prado will provide lodging at a youth hostel for the authors of the selected projects.

Medialab-Prado will also cover travel expenses for one person for each of the selected projects.


All those interested in taking part in the workshop must fill in and send the application form published below.

Entries Deadline: July 1, 2008 at 24h Madrid Local Time (GMT+1)

+Info: avlab08@medialab-prado.es


Entry constitutes acceptance of all contest rules.

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